The first thing I would do, if it was my client that had the child, is encourage them to get the child into counseling immediately to find out what’s going on. Second of all, I would then encourage them to include the other parent in the counseling with the kid so you can find out where the issue is. A lot of times, the issue isn’t that they don’t want to go, it’s just that they want to be with their friends, which is understandable. Maybe you can work out a deal with the kid where on your weekend he/she spends Friday night with their friends and then Saturday night that’s your night with her or him. There are a million ways to work on that. But I think before you go to court, because court is so expensive, you should try to work this out through other dispute resolutions such as collaborative law or mediation.
With 30 years of experience in family law, Laura M. Urbik Kern is a certified mediator and family lawyer who concentrates on dissolution, family and juvenile law, child support, and complex domestic relations cases.